Well, here we go with my very first blog. It has been a while since I have done one of these so I promise they will get better. ;)
Firstly, I would like to thank everyone who has been supporting me throughout my career and those who have stuck by me during studies. It has been 7 years since my voice changed and the process of training and regaining momentum has been tough and challenging. However, I have now reached a stage where I am very comfortable with my progress and look forward to sharing a new chapter with you all. As my blog progresses, I will talk about different challenges and obstacles, past and present, that come with being a young operatic singer. I will also keep you up to date with upcoming events and concerts, with an inside view as to how I prepare for them.
Filling you in on my 7-year absence… easy, hold my coffee!
My voice started to change around the age of 14/15 years old. I auditioned and was accepted at the Junior Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, UK. I travelled to Manchester every Saturday, rising around 5am. For about the first two year’s I caught the train to arrive in college for 9am. The next 2 years I travelled with a friend in her mother’s car who was also awarded a place. The first lesson was singing – anyone who sings knows that is not a nice time to sing. The rest of the day consisted of piano lessons, theory, musicianship, and ensemble class; which I enjoyed. It was inspiring to be surrounded by great young musicians who are all equally enthusiastic about what they do. I then caught the train/car home around 5pm and was back in Carlisle by 7pm.
At the age of 14, I started home education and a course with the Open University, taking modules in the Arts, Past and Present – this lasted 2 years. During this period of my development I sang in many events to help raise funds for much needed local charities. I loved raising money for people and it gave me the opportunity to keep up my solo singing with an audience throughout the period my voice was changing. At the RNCM I was learning the piano and taking my piano exams, but at home I was learning the organ. The organ excited me in a way that the piano didn’t (maybe because when you hit a bum note on the organ it just sounded like a Bachian suspension or passing note and still sounded great…oh, who am I kidding, I’m just trying to make an excuse for my tragic piano skills ;) ha ha).
Throughout this transitioning period I kept up my duties at Carlisle Cathedral - I was awarded a choral scholarship and when that ended after a year I became a part time lay-clerk. I also joined the world renowned National Youth Choir of Great Britain – what an amazing experience. I had the privilege to be part of some incredible performances - the BBC Proms are incredible and have world renowned artists and conductors (please see me biography for names). I also sang with Vox Cantabe (Cambridge singers) and became a deputy lay clerk at Manchester Cathedral.
I then hit 18 and was ready to start studying for my degree. I started studying at the senior Royal Northern College of Music. Throughout my years as a junior RNCM student my tutor was with Tenor Jeffrey Lawton and for the first 3 years we continued to work together. However, I made the decision to change singing teachers and for this last year been studying with International Bass and Conductor, Matthew Best. I am in my fourth and final year and I finish my degree next month. Throughout my time here, I have taken part in many concerts and BBC appearances. I have been a chorus member in the Bridgewater Hall and Manchester Opera House. I also auditioned and was accepted onto the Buxton Young Artist Programme and was a member of the demon chorus.
So what next? ……. I am delighted and excited to say that I auditioned and was accepted with a large scholarship into Berlin Opera Academy 2017. I fly out to Berlin this July to play Bartolo in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro. More about this in later blogs.
I have concerts coming up which you can find out about on my events page.
This is a very condensed version of what I have been up to this last few years. There is a lot more to tell you but I will split it up for future blogs - I don’t want you all falling asleepJ ……….. please keep an eye out.
Hope you all have a great day – speak soon.